Bedroom Tax regulations at B(13)(5) would say a family comprising of a couple with 1 daughter aged 10 and 1 daughter aged 8 would be entitled to and have a housing need for 2 bedrooms. YET a Local Government Ombudsman report from October 2012 in York found that such a household was overcrowded…AND the council in York accepted this as being correct.
The report says at :
28. When Mr Green and his family moved into their property their household was 3.5 people in terms of sections 324 -326 Housing Act 1985. But, given the size of the second bedroom, the house was overcrowded by .5 of a person from the moment they moved in.
You will note I have highlighted and emphasised “...given the size of the second bedroom” and that bedroom deemed by the LGO to be too small for two girls of 10 and 8 years old to share was 7.77 square metres which is 82.88 square feet.
At  of the LGO report the Ombudsman says:
My investigator made further enquiries on the same day querying how the offer complied with the law, given that Mr Green’s daughters, at the time of the offer, counted as 1.5 people under the relevant legislation (and within less than 12 months would count as 2 people). A room of 7.7 m2 was only big enough for one person.
Now what all the above means is that there could be many bedroom tax affected households containing a couple and 2 children of the same sex in (allegedly) 3 bedroom properties yet (bed)rooms 2 and 3 will both be too small to be deemed a bedroom and thus has the bedroom tax been levied in error?
There is certainly a strong appeal case in these situations as for any of rooms 2 and 3 to count as bedrooms for avoiding overcrowding purposes they would need to be 110 square feet or 10.22 square metres.
So if room 1 is 120 sq/ft thats one bedroom; yet if room 2 is 90 square feet and room 3 is 63 square feet then that under overcrowding regulations is a property with 2 bedrooms. [Note well here the living room in this property had a gas fire and so could not count as a bedroom]
Let’s put this into a very local context of York Council who agreed with the LGO report and agreed they were overcrowded. York UA has 940 bedroom tax imposed households and we can take it as read that many will be household of a couple with 2 children of the same sex under 16 in an alleged 3 bed property for which they are hit with the bedroom tax. York, like every other local council, will not have gone out and visited all these properties before it made the bedroom tax decision and given that as a corporate body the council agrees that such a household could be overcrowded or at worst suitably accommodated with no spare bedroom then how can they impose the bedroom tax?
I am aware of scores of cases locally to me in which this household configuration of a couple with two same sex children reside in a purported 3 bed property yet both alleged bedrooms 2 and 3 are not 100 square feet yet the bedroom tax has been imposed.
This is just another of the perverse vagaries of the sham bedroom tax decisions that were made. Yet given that the LGO found overcrowding and that a room of 82.88 square feet was only suitable for one child over ten AND that the council admitted and agreed to this then such an argument is just another persuasive argument for a bedroom tax appeal on room size and number of that mystical term ‘bedroom’ that IDS wants tribunals to believe is merely 4 walls built around a single bed giving a floor area of just 21 square feet or 1.95 square metres.
Just another bedroom tax appeal argument to add to the many already known!